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D&D General Whom has had a greater impact on D&D? Gygax or Greenwood?

Whom has had more impact on D&D?

  • Gary Gygax

    Votes: 110 88.0%
  • Ed Greenwood

    Votes: 8 6.4%
  • Other

    Votes: 7 5.6%

  • Total voters
    125

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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I voted other. There are too many people to count that have contributed to the game over the decades and to focus on the people that happened to start the ball rolling is missing the point. The Wright brothers rightly have a place in history for being the first ones to fly and show it's possible, but much like Gottlieb Daimler who had the first gasoline powered vehicle what we have today only bears superficial resemblance to the original.

You can look at the original version of the games and worlds they created and the similarity is obvious, but sometimes I think we give too much credit to the people that happened to be at the right place at the right time. Gygax and Greenwood stood on the shoulder of giants, the basic formation of the game was mostly a lucky accident.
 


Davies

Explorer
I think it's closer than these poll results would suggest, but that Gygax and Arneson stand out far above all other contributors, with the possible exception of Greg Stafford. Regardless, Ed Greenwood would be beneath Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman if I made a list.
 


dave2008

Legend
So whom do you think has made the greatest impact on D&D?

At this point, given the role The Forgotten Realms has played in D&D over the decades, I think Ed Greenwood, has made more of an impact on the hobby than Gary Gygax. What do you think?
Gygax and it is not even close. I play a game based on the rules he originally created., I have never played a single game (in 30+ years of D&D) in the Forgotten Realms. I can't ignore the contribution of Gary for even one role of the dice, but I can ignore the contribution of the other for more than 30 years.
 
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jgsugden

Legend
Gygax > Greenwood, but neither are in my top 2.

Greenwood created lore, not the game. That lore has been updated so many times that it hardly resembles the contributions that he initially made.

Gygax is third in my list of people that influenced the game into what it is today: Dave Arneson, Andy Collins, and then Gygax. All three were instrumental, but Arneson and Collins were guiding forces that did a huge amount to shape the game (Arneson being the first to really make a fantasy role playing session happen and Collins for taming the randomness into a game that made mathematical sense - the first to hone the game into shape) while Gygax is thought to have capitalized upon the work of others and pushed it to commercial 'success'.
 

pming

Hero
Hiya!

I almost said "Other", but then I re-thought about the question. Arneson 'created' the idea of a small group of 'heroes' (not as in "heroic", but as in "leaders of military forces as per Chainmail miniatures wargame), going on an 'adventure' into a dungeon/cave/ruin. But...to be honest...he didn't really "take it far". He was, iirc, more interested in the initial concept and as a sort of "well, we have several people that want to wargame, and only one table...lets do Dungeons & Dragons tonight".

Also, iirc, it was Gygax that really saw the potential and started really going whole-hog into fiddling and refining the rules, expanding them, and trying to solidify the concept of the game.

So that is why I give it to Gygax. Arneson was the spark and initial flame, but Gygax was the one that brought out the bellows. ;)

Greenwood? Er...no. I mean, I'm sure he's a great guy and all that, I do like listening to him and what he has to say, and he does have a solid footing for "heroic stories of epic epicness" and all that, but, honestly, he just wrote a setting and teeny-boppers (re: 14 year olds, give or take) really latched onto all the over-the-top "heroes and villains". I see current Forgotten Realms as the "Marvel/DC Super-Heroes version of a fantasy world".

(and yes, I do have rules and have played in games where we use Marvel Super Heroes Advanced Set in a fantasy setting of my best friends creation called 'Urshurak'; and yes, before you ask, it's VERY fun!)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 





SiCK_Boy

Explorer
As much as I love Ed Greenwood and the original Grey Box Forgotten Realms, there have been so many more people working, designing and expanding on the Realms that I don’t think his impact on the game can be compared to Gary Gygax.

As beloved as the Realms have become over the years, they didn’t necessarily revolutionize the genre, nor did they really stretch much boundaries within the game or the hobby. A setting like Eberron, much shorter-lived than the Realms, probably has had as much impact on the game as its elder setting, if not more.

While Gygax wasn’t alone in inventing the game, he was a primary driving force behind it for many years when nothing else existed and all the rules had to be invented.

Still, Ed Greenwood would make it into any top 10 list or Who’s Who of the D&D stars & constellations. Just not above EGG.
 


I don't even think Ed ranks in the top 3. It's just a setting.
Early 2e, especially in terms of Monster design essentially Adopted/Emulated
Ed Greenwood's Ecology articles in Dragon.

To refer to the Forgotten Realms as "Just a setting" is akin to referring to the
Marvel MCU as "Just a bunch of movies".

Yes, the FR is "just a setting". Just the most popular, and widely used setting for several decades now. Kids whom have picked up the game independently of their parents, know what the Forgotten Realms is, from the 5e modules. Those same kids, don't have any real idea who Gary Gygax is.

On Thanksgiving, I watched on Zoom, some nieces and their friends play D&D.
(technically I was playing as well, but watched and listened more than I acted).
One of the kids called the DM a "Gygaxian DM" and meant the phrase as a
DM that does not give out much loot.

Apparently that was the misrepresentation she had received from certain internet posts. 🙅🏻‍♂️
 
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Yardiff

Adventurer
Hiya!

I almost said "Other", but then I re-thought about the question. Arneson 'created' the idea of a small group of 'heroes' (not as in "heroic", but as in "leaders of military forces as per Chainmail miniatures wargame), going on an 'adventure' into a dungeon/cave/ruin. But...to be honest...he didn't really "take it far". He was, iirc, more interested in the initial concept and as a sort of "well, we have several people that want to wargame, and only one table...lets do Dungeons & Dragons tonight".

Also, iirc, it was Gygax that really saw the potential and started really going whole-hog into fiddling and refining the rules, expanding them, and trying to solidify the concept of the game.

So that is why I give it to Gygax. Arneson was the spark and initial flame, but Gygax was the one that brought out the bellows. ;)

Greenwood? Er...no. I mean, I'm sure he's a great guy and all that, I do like listening to him and what he has to say, and he does have a solid footing for "heroic stories of epic epicness" and all that, but, honestly, he just wrote a setting and teeny-boppers (re: 14 year olds, give or take) really latched onto all the over-the-top "heroes and villains". I see current Forgotten Realms as the "Marvel/DC Super-Heroes version of a fantasy world".

(and yes, I do have rules and have played in games where we use Marvel Super Heroes Advanced Set in a fantasy setting of my best friends creation called 'Urshurak'; and yes, before you ask, it's VERY fun!)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
Cool. I read that book and named one of characters after it.
 

Enrico Poli1

Adventurer
EGG is first.
Then the Hickmans. The Hickman Revolution meant that your characters felt as in a novel or in a movie.
I think that Mike Mearls deserves the third place. He single-handedly saved the game with 5e.

Greenwood invented a great campaign setting.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
1. Gygax
1a. Arneson
3. Wesely
4+ - take yer pick of a bunch of well-known names past and present: Hickman, Weis, Mentzer, Kask, Holmes, Williams*, Cook, Mearls, Greenwood, Baker, and that's but a few; many others could just as easily be listed here.

* - Skip. NOT Lorraine! :)
 

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